Friday, December 31, 2021

the best of 2021


Happy New Year's Eve, friends! How will you be ringing in the new year tonight? Todd and I will be at home and in our pajamas with our dogs, which is our favorite way to celebrate. I don't know what we'll eat, but I have sparkling cider and a real bottle of champagne waiting on us in the fridge. 

I thought I'd share some highlights from this year that I would like to end this year with. To keep it from being too long, I'm picking one or two highlights per month.

The year started off with a bang for most of us politically, but aside from that, January rolled in nice and easy. We all had trust issues with 2021 when the year first began, and for good reason. I stayed home a lot, I read a lot, we enjoyed a lot of fires in our fireplace.

We had an epic snowstorm in February! It rarely snows like this where I live near Memphis, but we enjoyed the days it kept us at home. (Mostly. If I'm being completely honest, I'll confess that the more snow that fell, the more claustrophobic I became.) 

And I can't leave the month of February without mentioning our sweet Crash. He had two major surgeries this year beginning in February and I've never been so ready for someone to be back to normal.

The nurse sent us this the night he had to spend there in recovery. Poor pup! He's doing great now and I'm relieved it's all behind us.

We spent March celebrating birthdays! In this month, we celebrated Jonah and Noah turning eighteen, Graham turning twenty-two, my dad-in-love and my dad turning ninety.

My sister Debi was here to celebrate the boys! Look how we matched that night. These were the grandsons that were here for Dad's 90th, and the rest of the fam joined over a Zoom call, thanks to my awesome hubby for putting it all together and making it work so well.

Drew celebrated turning 21 in April and they had a bros' weekend in Nashville! 

We celebrated Jonah and Noah graduating by attending the senior banquet at church.

And I went on the first girl's getaway trip of the year with these beautiful friends and co-writers. We spent a long weekend(ish) in the mountains at Lynn's cabin and had the best time ever.

Our twin sons graduated from high school on Mother's day weekend in May and put me into the category of retired homeschool mom. I couldn't be more proud of them!

To celebrate, they left for the beach the next day with their friends and proceeded to each go once more before the summer ended. We also celebrated my mom-in-love's birthday.

June found us doing an escape room for Missy's birthday! We may not have escaped, but man did we have fun. 

I spent time at Dad's house visiting with my sister Terri and my brother Paul while they were here for the week.

And I went on girl's getaway trip number 2 with these sweet ladies and you'll notice it's the same group of co-writers, minus two. We spent a week in Destin and had the greatest time ever.

One week after returning home from the beach, Drew moved out and Jonah totaled my car.

The weekend after that, these ladies and I went to Nashville to celebrate birthdays and laughed ourselves silly. 

In August, we celebrated my mom's birthday by spending a day together in Memphis, and we did the same for my sister Trish in September.

In October, Todd and I celebrated 25 years of being married!

And we celebrated the "company Christmas dinner" finally almost a year later at Texas De Brazil with all these guys and Todd's parents. This was such a fun night!

November found Trish and I doing the lights for Dad's house again and I decorated our own home for Christmas early for the second year in a row. And for the second year in a row, I was sick on Thanksgiving, so I was glad to have this done!

And in December, it was all of the Christmas I could enjoy. Missy and I took our last girl's getaway trip of the year by going to Columbia for a concert and had a blast. 

There were Christmas concerts and magical reading by the light of the tree nights galore and I was pretty much in Heaven the entire month.

I chose to focus on the happy, but there were lots of moments in between that were sad and hard, like when I said goodbye to a chapter of my life and then another one right after that. (Graduation for the twins and Drew moving out on his own.) There were scary moments, like when Jonah totaled my car on the interstate in the pouring down rain, when he hit a puddle of water and hydroplaned going 60 MPH on the interstate. He stopped spinning and was facing oncoming traffic. I never want to have that kind of phone call again! 

I have friends who lost loved ones, we said goodbye to a beloved pet, we had moments of growth opportunities in our marriage, our sons made us laugh and shake our head in astonishment, we met new friends of theirs and walked them through hard times together, and we walked through scary things with various other extended family members. I can honestly say that I am closer to the Lord right now than I was when the year started and I can also say that the Lord healed me from anxiety. I do not say this lightly, my friends, I assure you, and I give Him the praise and glory for delivering me from that often debilitating mental torment. As I write this, it's been weeks (going on months) since I last suffered from an anxiety attack.

I picked a word for the upcoming year, which is something I haven't done in a long time, but I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet. I want to spend a day alone with Jesus talking to Him about it before I share it here in this space, but maybe in the next week or two, I'll share it here. To all of you who are new friends, know that I am so thankful for you! I have found a lifelong friend through this space and I hope to find more. I hope you continue to find Jesus here as you read about the fun and serious moments in my life. Thanks for encouraging me, thanks for leaving lots of comment love, thanks for being there for me and making me excited to come here everyday. Know that you are loved, appreciated and prayed for as I write here daily.

Thank you for reading my blog! I'll see you back here next week, friends. Love to all and Happy New Year!❤

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